Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Autry.
Hayley, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve been a part of acting since I was a wee little lad(y). A specific memory engrained in me was after my 8th-grade play. My theater teacher – the least serious and most flamboyant person alive – pulled my parents aside and said with a serious, deliberate, unorthodox tone, “She is meant for stardom. She has the gift.” Over the years, I studied and learned as much as I could about this craft. However, I didn’t know or understand the business side. The meat and potatoes of the industry. That not every A-list celebrity is “discovered at the mall”. It overwhelmed me and shook me. I was so frightened by my naivety that it paralyzed my artistic being. So with that, I tried my best to find other means of a career. But my god, it did not take long for the burial of this passion to claw at my insides as I was sitting in front of a corporate desk, melting away. I just HAD to know what it took to be an actress. I knew I had a gift. My middle-school theater teacher even said so!
Flash-forward to me now, 27 years old, living in Los Angeles. I call the past three years a “dance of moving parts” – scene study, submitting auditions, driving hundreds of miles for Covid tests, cheap meals, expensive headshots, etc… But I’ll tell you what. You want to learn the business of acting? Become a dancer. Not a literal dancer, unless you love dancing. But be in the hustle and bustle. Dance with the business! Because what comes with the business? Bookings. Being on set. Talking with famous directors and actors. Getting yelled at by famous directors and actors. Makeup chairs. Hairstylists who call you “my baby” more than a significant other. It’s all SO FUN. I’ve been so fortunate to be seeing this progression in my career and I can’t wait for the coming years. The best is yet to come. Yo girl loves to dance.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
HECK NO. First of all, Rupaul says it best. We all have our “inner saboteur”, where we self-sabotage to protect ourselves. But then, it leads to this analysis paralysis and nothing happens. That has happened to me countless times, but eventually I’ve learned when to put my saboteur on mute. Along with that, acting requires the thickest of skins. You will get told no all the time. Or told nothing at all. You will see your friends booking when you’re not. You will watch a movie and cry because you almost were on that film. My advice to whoever is reading this is to never compare, always remember you’re worthy, shake off the assholes, and take risks when your mind is telling you she’s scared.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m an actress and have been working in films and commercials. What sets me apart from others is my comedic nature. I find humor is every setting I’m in and like to think I make a real boring situation delightful and entertaining. Just the other day a bunch of us were on set for this upcoming Michael Bay film, and we were in these heavy LAPD costumes. It was hot, sweaty, and hard to pee in. However, in between takes, I developed this “Trainee” character that was HORRIBLE at her job. She had no idea how she got hired as a police officer. Of course, I am professional in front of the professionals. But when we are sitting in the hot sun and need some free entertainment, I volunteer as tribute.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck is SUCH a big role in this industry. I have found luck in really loving everyone I work with. Many occasions have led to future work or them connecting me with someone else to audition for. If you are a delight to work with, easy to direct, and helpful to others, you will be remembered for the future. BUT, I believe the initial getting-your-foot-in-the-door is half luck, half talent.
- Scene Study: $300/month
- Casting Website: $100-$200/year per website
- LA Apartment: $1,300/month
- Gas: $50/month
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: hayleyautry.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayleymarieautry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hayley.autry
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/hailsdabails
Brett Richards Photography Dunnrite Productions Frances Hamrock Photography Callie Hobbs Photography Street Honey Productions